Apparently upset by news reports in Finance Colombia and elsewhere, Colombia’s Minister of Agriculture Andrés Valencia Pinzón (above, black suit) has stated that the ministry’s recent resolution 350 of 2019 does not encourage shark finning, the practice of cutting off the fins of shark and leaving the fish to die. This, even though the resolution’s language specifically authorizes quotas for shark fins. (See the official document by clicking here, where shark fins are indicated in Article 1 and Article 2).
According to a ministry statement, officials will meet to clarify the law, and any misinterpretation. “It is a technical and scientific decision that has been issued, year after year since 2011, constructed with different environmental authorities and NGOs,” said the minister who went on and stated that the resolution actually seeks to fight shark finning.
The Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development Ricardo Lozano (above, blue suit) said that shark finning is prohibited through Resolution 1743 of 2017 of the National Authority of Aquaculture and Fisheries (AUNAP), and faces criminal punishment. “What we are looking for is to increase monitoring actions and maintain the National Action Plan for the Conservation and Management of Sharks, Rays and Chimeras set since 2011,” says Lozano.
Valencia stated that this week, the Executive Committee for Fisheries, made up of the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment and the National Authority of Aquaculture and Fisheries will meet to clarify “the misinformation generated by an erroneous interpretation.” The national government will specify the actual scope of the resolution and emphasize that shark finning is a crime and prohibited in Colombia.
In the past decade this has been a significant problem in Colombian waters. In recent years, 4 Costa Rican fishermen were jailed in Colombia for slaughtering over 2,000 sharks in Colombia’s Malpelo National Park.